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    Air Force 1 Upstep

    The Nike Air Force 1 Upstep begins on a rubber outsole with widely spaced concentric circles making up the tread. The star-shaped grip at the front of the outsole extends up the front of the toe, where it is clearly visible. Designed exclusively as a model for women, the Air Force 1 Upstep has Air technology under the heel and a seam of stitching that wraps around the entire midsole, which has been lifted for a more elevated look – one that earned the shoe its name. Across this sole unit, the colours are sometimes varied, such as on the AF1 Upstep Premium Blue Suede, which has a pale blue midsole and a gum outsole. Meanwhile, other models keep things monochromatic, one notable example being the Bread and Butter, whose entirely white sole contrasts powerfully with the bright shade of yellow that covers the rest of the sneaker.

    On the upper, the main leather panels are not overlaid, instead being joined along smooth seams whose stitches are hidden, giving the model a streamlined look. The other elements of the upper overlay these sections, beginning at the eyestay, which has seven eyelets on each flank. Its stitched edges are slightly wavy, while the end has more of a box shape. The laces are secured using a leather loop in the middle and a lace dubrae at the bottom that is plain on most designs, such as the Glass Slipper, but branded on a few editions, for example, the Upstep LX Elevated Excellence colourway, which has red and pink flower motifs made from sequins on its blue outer. Meanwhile, the toe box perforations of the Air Force 1 Upstep come arranged in a grid formation on most versions, but the Upstep BR has no perforations at all owing to its use of Nike’s Ultramesh across its upper. Released in a sleek black colourway, amongst others, its use of this incredibly breathable and lightweight material means that perforations are not required anywhere on the outer.

    Swooshes appear in their usual position down each side of the midfoot, from where they extend back below the heel panel. Each has a straight tail end with only minimal tapering. The heel panel itself has two clean lines of stitching around its bottom edge, along with debossed Nike Air text across its middle. Just below it, a heel strip runs down to the midsole. A large tongue tab features Air Force 1 lettering under the well-known Nike Air branding, and a simple swoosh adorns the insole. 

    In addition to the Air Force Upstep Low, a High model has also been released. It resembles the Low in that it is a women’s sneaker with a boosted midsole. Both styles share many features as well, with the main difference being the high-top collar and the ankle strap, which the original AF1 High was well known for. While these two have a similar appearance, the Nike Air Force 1 Upstep Warrior has quite a different look. Its collar has been extended further up the leg, making it a large boot. Premium leather panels can be seen on the bottom part of the shoe, such as a forefoot mudguard, a smooth toe box without perforations and a rear overlay that curves back towards the heel as it moves up from the midsole before bending back towards the eyestay. Atop this last segment, there is a triangular heel panel with Nike Air branding and a double line of stitching around its perimeter. The heel overlay connects to a broad ankle strap, above which the outer extends up over the shin. It also has a traditional eyestay with standard laces and a dubrae to secure them. Finally, swooshes adorn the flanks to give it that classic AF1 feel. This completes the lineup of Nike Air Force 1 Upstep designs – a charming model with its own compelling variations on the iconic original.

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